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Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown Pre-Launch Review

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

One of the games that was announced at the Xbox Games Showcase 2023 was Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. It is a brand-new entry from Ubisoft Montpellier and is scheduled for release on January 18, 2024. The 2.5D action-adventure platformer was inspired by Metroidvanias.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

Upon launch, the game will be available on all platforms including Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, Amazon Luna, and PC. Therefore, regardless of the platform where you play, you will not miss anything. Although the game is still in development—according to the commented gameplay reveal—Ubisoft has opened the books for preorder.

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Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown is the reinventing of the traditional Prince of Persia but with a new story and thrilling challenges. It retained the side-scrolling and platforming format of the classical Prince of Persia. Watching the gameplay reveal flooded me with emotions from the Prince of Persia: Sands of Time—one of my favorite puzzle-platformer games.

“We really want to bring an action-platformer and to respect, from the beginning, the DNA of this brand,” said Abdelhak Elguess, the senior producer at Ubisoft Montpellier.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

After the remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in 2021, it was ingenious of Ubisoft to follow it up with The Lost Crown which—from what I learned—is going to be a quest to save the prince who was kidnapped and taken to a forbidden land.

“Of course, this new entry could be super modern, super fresh,” said Mounir Radi, game director at Ubisoft Montpellier. “I think this is a reunion of these two things: our expertise in platforming games and our strong desire to be sure that this is a true Prince of Persia game.”

The story of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown introduces new sets of characters. Gamers will play as Sargon, the youngest member of a team of immortals—an elite warrior team. Sargon will journey to the cursed city of Mount Qaf to rescue the prince. Unlike the other games in the franchise, the prince to be rescued has a name; Prince Ghassan.

Mount Qaf is now a prison swarming with hostile inhabitants. Separated from his allies, Sargon discovers a grand citadel crawling with mysteries. One unique feature of Mount Qaf is that time flows differently. The past and the future exist simultaneously.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

During the epic journey, you will encounter other uncorrupted dwellers that have also been trapped in Mount Qaf. Some will be willing to help you while others will either be reluctant to help or try to kill you.

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However, Sargon is a unique type of warrior like no other. He is skillful, elusive, and brutal on the battlefield. While time powers are back, players will soon discover that they are not the only ones wielding them. Mastering the time powers will help players to unleash devastating combos and solve the puzzles of Mount Qaf.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

In Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown’s semi-open world, you will discover new secrets as you unlock new powers. Mastering new skills and a sense of timing is the secret to reaching new areas—one of the trademarks of the Prince of Persia franchise.

All hope rests on the immortals to rescue the prince and save the empire. Although the immortals is a league of fierce warriors, Sargon confessed that they “were not prepared for what was coming next”. However, the cursed creatures were not prepared for him too. At a time of darkness, hope is the only thing that keeps them fighting.

The gameplay of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown

In terms of gameplay, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown packs a punch. Sargon can jump, air dash to reach farther platforms, and slide. Armed with a pair of curved blades and bow and arrows, he unleashes devastating combos which he often combines with his feet to launch enemies into the air.

A perfect parry will fill up Sargon’s Athra’s Glow. Once filled, Sargon can unleash a special ability that will instantly kill weaker enemies. Rush of the Simurgh is a unique time ability that Sargon will learn along the journey. It allows him to instantly dash forward through time.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

Another time ability called the Shadow of the Simurgh will allow Sargon to place a ‘shadow marker’. The shadow markers serve as temporary portals that Sargon can instantaneously return to. This ability comes in handy during battles and in some cagey situations.

Obtaining and equipping a talisman can alter Sargon’s abilities. Mount Qaf is filled with secret rooms and shortcuts. A little exploration can reward players with Time Crystals which serves as a currency for the purchase of new weapon upgrades for Sargon’s weapons.

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“Combat system, acrobatics, puzzle, narration,” said Elguess. “So, we knew that because of our experience on Rayman, we can bring such kind of experience in 2D, but the core experience is a Prince of Persia game.”

One cool feature of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is that players can take screenshots and pin them to the map of the game. This will make it easier for them to remember an unsolved puzzle which they can return to when they have the skills and tools to solve them.

A different type of animation

Most modern games make use of motion capture to animate their characters. However, because of the 2D nature of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown and its epic combats, that was not possible. Therefore, the team at Ubisoft Montpellier made use of Keyframe to animate the in-game demos.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

“For The Lost Crown, we are aiming [for] the highest animation quality as possible,” said Bruce Nguyen Van Lan, the animation director at Ubisoft Montpellier. “The goal is to have a really smooth, challenging, and responsive gameplay. All the gameplay animation is based on keyframe. Keyframe animation is a way to animate without motion capture. You just take the puppets, design the line of action, the nice shape of the character and bring it to life.”

I would like to mention that the game comes in Standard Pack and Deluxe Pack. The latter comes with perks including Immortals outfit, Prosperity bird amulet, Digital adventure guide, and up to 3 days of early access.

Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown pre-launch review

Prince of Persia continues to hold a special place in my heart and I highly anticipate the release of the Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown come January 2024. Obviously, the graphics have become better and I strongly hope the developers will maximize the powers of the next-gen consoles.

What are your thoughts on the story and gameplay of Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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